Saturday, June 6, 2009
When I went to Google this morning, I was greeted with a special Google logo, celebrating the 25th anniversary of Tetris. And I smiled.
Many people who know me also know that we weren't allowed to have video games until we were well into our teens. I'm not even sure I was in high school when my brothers broke my mom down and she let us get a Playstation II. But we did have a computer... and on that computer was Tetris.
Maybe it's my organization skills, or maybe it was the challenge and the panic that inevitably set in as the pile of unused blocks rose, but I loved Tetris. I still do. My strategy was to always stack them and wait for the straight line of 4 blocks to get a Tetris, but this wouldn't always work if those were hard to come by.
My Mum was so into Tetris that she had to actually uninstall it from our computer for a brief time, then it made its triumphant return a month or so later. And it was always the challenge between me and Pete who would get the top score starting at level 7.
I'm not even sure which computer in our house now has Tetris on it, but I'm pretty sure it's too slow or antiquated to work. And neither my laptop nor my home computer have it on there. So it's been awhile since I've been able to play a round or two. Ashley just brought her NES home from NH, and I've heard rumor that she has Tetris. So that's exciting.
What was it about Tetris that made it so addictive? Compared to other games on the market, it's pretty simple. Different shapes of four blocks slowly drop and you need to stack them to make complete rows, which eliminates those blocks and get you points. If you can make multiple rows at once, you get more points. As your pile of unused blocks rises, the blocks move faster. And if the pile reaches the top, you lose. Not that complicated or fancy. But maybe its simplicity has allowed it to pass from generation to generation? I feel not even the delightful Oregon Trail had this much staying power.
So thanks Tetris for years of entertainment and tension from me and many others. You are great and so addictive.
I found online the original Tetris theme, which is still in my head and memorable. This song can only be one thing.... Russian genius at work: